I have an old 1998 Lemond Zurich, and I recently purchased new wheels. The old bike had drop-out adjusters. When I added the new wheels I felt like my bike was rubbing against the brakes, then all of a sudden the rear wheel was dislodged and started rubbing against the chainstay. After the ride, I found the dropout pins (adjusters) spring were old and unaligned. I was able to remove the drop-out adjusters, so I'm hoping that fixes the problem and the wheel does not fall off again. However, the wheel sits a good 1 cm further into the drop outs. Could this new position effect shifting? Do I need to add chain links? I'm not interested in knowing why my wheels are falling out, just whether I should adjust my chain or derailleur.

  • 1
    It sounds as though the wheel was not tightened properly. I suggest putting the adjusters and everything back in and solving the problem from there, rather than changing everything and hoping you eventually end up with something that works. I think if you follow the advice on how tight should my quick release be you will solve the problem
    – Móż
    Aug 27 '15 at 4:25
  • I'm positive it wasn't my quick release. The group of people I was riding with confirmed with me that it was on tight. The adjusters were worn down, the springs were deteriorating. That caused my wheel to be misaligned in the dropouts, and the wheel to come off. I could have replaced them with new adjusters, but I had to break one off in the process of removing it. The only option now is for me to go without adjusters. Thanks for the help, I'm kind of moving up creek without a paddle. Aug 27 '15 at 5:14
  • If the quick release really was tight then it is very likely that the new hubs and/or skewer don't have the teeth that would have been part of older hubs and skewers meant for horizontal dropouts.
    – dlu
    Sep 12 '15 at 3:01

So you might be about two links short, or you could move the wheel forward. The purpose of the adjusters is to make it easy to position the wheel. The tension on the quick release skewer is what actually keeps the wheel in place. From what you describe it sounds like the skewer wasn't generating enough tension.

Try this:

  1. Locate the wheel where you want it – I'd put it where the old wheel was.
  2. Adust the quick release handle so that it is pointing strait out, parallel to the axle (perpendicular to the wheel).
  3. Tighten the adjusting nut on the skewer until all of the gap is taken up.
  4. Press the lever home into the closed position – it should take some force. If you can't get it to go parallel to the chain stay, then back off the adjusting nut. Just a little bit, maybe a quarter turn, and check again. Don't be afraid to push reasonably hard, the lever should leave a bit of a mark in your palm.

If you do that, the wheel should hold where you put it. You might want to put the adjusters back in. They will help get the wheel in the right place, so you won't need so many hands to install it.

  • 3
    You also should use steel skewers with horizontal dropouts so they properly bite into the frame.
    – Batman
    Aug 27 '15 at 4:09
  • Thanks, for the help. The problem was one bolt was screwed in further than the other, which kept my axle from staying aligned in the dropouts. While the quick release was on tight, my wheel could not stay on when I was putting a lot of force on it. I found that the springs had deteriorated, and the bolts were dethreaded and difficult to adjust. I am going to leave them off, for that reason. AND because in the process of taking them off the bolts were lodged in place, so I had to break them off with pliers. It was a terrible debacle. Aug 27 '15 at 4:57
  • 1
    Definitely take the advice from @Batman and make sure you've got steel skewers (the grippy parts) and that they are sharp. They should be more than able to hold your wheel in place. The load from the chain is going to pull the wheel forward, all the adjusters do is to help you locate the wheel.
    – dlu
    Aug 29 '15 at 21:44
  • @dlu will two links lessen the tension on the chain? I know everyone thinks that my skewers were misaligned etc, but I'm positive it was not the case. Will I need to adjust the derailleur? I'm guessing not. Thanks. Sep 11 '15 at 21:48
  • 1
    Adding links won't alter tension in the chain when you're pedaling – and that's the tension that's making your wheel move. It isn't that we think the skewer is misaligned – it seems like it isn't able to hold the wheel in place. This could be due to not enough tension, or it could be that you new wheels and/or skewers don't have the steel clamping surfaces that @Batman mentions. The teeth dig into the dropouts and hold the wheel in place. It seems possible that newer wheels, meant for frames with vertical dropouts might not use steel parts with teeth to hold in horizontal dropouts.
    – dlu
    Sep 12 '15 at 2:59

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